First Impressions. I read this book again in anticipation of our Mock Printz.
Usually I write notes as I read, for some reason though, this time I guess I was feeling lazy because I waited until the end to write anything. I'm sure we'll all suffer because of that haha.
My first thoughts were basically about how dense this story is. To take a look at the book you might not think it was too long (it clocks in at around 400 pages which is nothing to snear at) but I swear by the time you're done you'll be convinced you read at least 800 pages. If not more. This sucker reads like a multi-volume epic. I mean there is just a lot of stuff going on in this book. I don't necessarily mean that in a bad way, but I did feel a bit like I had been put through the wringer.
This is probably the grittiest YA fantasy I have ever read. Think The Road for teens if The Road had a bit less baby eatin' and a bit more rape and pestilence with a sprinkle of hope mixed in (hey, both are journeys...hahaha..er). Honestly? The book is bleak. Now is this a bad thing? I don't think so. I thought it was a great strength of the novel. This is not a book to glorify violence, nor is it a book to shy away from showing the results of violence. At times that makes it a difficult read, but perhaps more worthy for that.
The dialogue was a bit meladramatic at times, a little flowery and the characters said things that I had a hard time believing would ever come out of anyone's mouth ever. But I'll tell you what, I knew what was going to happen this time and I still couldn't put it down.
Looking over my first review I still had a major "what the what?" moment when the narration cuts unexpectedly away from Finniken to Froi for one chapter. For 239 pages we've been clearly been following Finniken. Then for one single chapter we follow Froi. Talk about jarring. That part did not get better on the second read.
All in all though, this is a real good one.
Book Source: Personal Copy